Heart language matters

I saw the importance of communication today.

For many years, Mr. and Mrs. Lee have rented a storage unit whenever they move.

Mrs. Lee is deaf.

I remember the first time I met them, which was the first month I started working at Storage Depot (before I started learning sign language). My boss had to write back and forth with Mrs. Lee about pricing and unit sizes.

heart languageFast forward to now, 11 months into my learning sign language. I was able to interpret for Mrs. Lee and she came to life! She talked and talked! It was so cool to see the power of communication in action.

Knowing someone’s heart language is important, especially when you’re on the mission field.

Each of us was born with an innate desire to be known and understood. Language barriers are the biggest deterrents to connection.

I’ve received a TON of help from the deaf community because week after week I show up and try. Even when I completely mess up, my friends kindly and gently encourage me and teach me the right way. Who could guess that my bumbling efforts would be so well received? I certainly didn’t expect it!

For many of my deaf friends, though, their own parents never made an effort to learn sign language. One of my friend’s mom started learning sign once my friend was grown. As my friend shared the story with me, there were tears in her eyes.

“This is what I’ve always wanted.”

Heart language matters. If you want to make an impact learn a culture’s heart language.

And this is true of any culture–not just deaf culture.

So, for all of my friends who feel drawn to a certain country or culture, take this advice from someone who has seen the difference: Language is key.

2 thoughts on “Heart language matters

  1. I have been bragging on you to everyone I have come in contact with about you translating today. You were so amazing to watch! From someone who has not had many opportunities to observe sign language conversations, it was so cool how you also included the conversation between Mr. Lee and me so that she was able to be a part of the entire group conversation.

    I have never seen Mrs. Lee so happy! Because of the “language barrier” I’m sure she doesn’t have many opportunities to feel like she is actually part of “a group” like she did today. It was so nice to see her be able to communicate her thoughts, questions, and decisions to you without having to look to her husband to tell me what she wanted to communicate. This is the first time I have ever seen the independent side of her, and it was very special to finally see that.

    On a selfish note, you sure did make my job much more pleasant and easier too 🙂

    Audra, I have been impressed with your signing ability since you first started learning. You are really gifted in this area, and I think this is one of the first of many lives you are going to touch throughout your life.

    Thank you for being the amazing young lady that you are!

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